Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto - OCS, 15th INTERNATIONAL ISKO CONFERENCE

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Juan Bernardo Montoya-Mogollón, Sonia Troitiño

Last modified: 2018-06-20


The document is understood as the preponderant means for the communication of the various human activities. The transformation of the support has created new challenges for its conservation in the different stages of history: stone, clay, papyrus, parchment and paper, among others. These supports have elements in common: 1. they are intelligible directly by the human eye; 2. their conservation and preservation may be possible even in difficult conditions; and 3. when a modification or change of information is made intentionally, its detection is easily identifiable.

The contribution of Diplomatic and Forensic Science has established from its beginnings, theoretical and practical elements to validate and prove the authenticity of records produced in different institutional environments. Diplomatic validation is done by analyzing the internal and external characters of the documents, that is, it analyzes the information in a critical and deep form that composes the document and its support, as well as additional information that can be fixed in the document. The Forensic Science, in turn, reinforces the methods of proving Diplomatic, ensuring the documentary chain of custody so that it can be used as a source of proof in legal, legal, administrative and other scenarios.

The emergence of the two sciences mentioned mainly refers to the Middle Ages, a historical moment in which the states of Europe began to solidify. The official and solemn documents issued by the religious chancelleries were sources of assurance to add the political power of the States in formation. And the falsification of diplomas (official documents), began to be a common practice to legitimize this political force. Therefore, it was necessary for the church to establish standards and methodologies to analyze the authenticity of these documents, a first attempt by an "empirical" Diplomat.

Later, in the seventeenth century, the Benedictine Jean Mabillon developed a methodology to analyze the nature of the documents that believed to be false. In 1681, he published De re diplomatica libri sex, thereby establishing the scientific character of Diplomatic and Paleography. From that moment, different faculties of law in Europe, deepened on the authenticity of the diverse documents, especially those of legal nature. The importance of the forensic field was decisive in linking areas of knowledge such as Diplomatic Science and Forensic Science, although today only Diplomatic is seen as an autonomous Science.

The objective of the present work is to carry out a historical review of Diplomatic and Forensic Science from its beginnings, to later analyze the resurgence of these two applied sciences in the context of the record digital. Digital Diplomatic Science assists in verifying the authenticity, reliability and completeness of the digital record, taking into account both its identity and its integrity. Forensic Science, on the other hand, establishes rules to verify that the record is not corrupted at any stage of the documentary life cycle.

The methodology used was theoretical-descriptive and exploratory, taking into account the studies of both classical and modern authors. Studies related to areas such as Information Sciences and Knowledge, Archival Science, Forensic Sciences, Diplomatic Science and Law. It will be approached concepts little worked in the area, such as Digital Forensic Sciences linked to Computer Science to try to assist the process of verification and identification of the authenticity of digital archival digital documents.

The results of the research focus on providing the born digital record with sufficient guarantee for it to be used as a source of administrative, archival, legal, and legal evidence, among others. By analyzing both their internal and external characters within the digital systems that produce, conserve, preserve and give access to the user. Likewise, the way Diplomatic Science and Forensic Science can subsidize elements to ensure the authenticity of documents at any stage of the documentary life cycle.

The pertinence of the present research is based on the fact that at present we need sciences that contribute to the conservation and preservation of the information and knowledge that is being produced in different contexts. It is being observed that digital documents have a high risk of becoming obsolete in the short term and therefore the intervention of sciences such as Diplomatic and Forensic Digital is urgently needed to preserve and preserve this documentary collection as a means to keep alive the memory of society.